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  Beer
 
History of Beer

Some 5,000 years ago in the Imperial Egypt of the Pharaohs, beer was already an important food item in the daily diet. It was made from lightly baked barley bread, and also was used as a sacrament. People gathered in the evening to drink at a ‘house of beer'. Beer was the natural drink of the country, a basic in the diet of the nobility and of the fellah (the peasant). As well as being a drink, beer was also used as medicine. A medical document which was written in about 1,600 BC lists about 700 prescriptions of which about...

Did Jesus turn water into beer?

Did people worry that the spoken word would die when the cleverest among them started to make pictograms on clay tablets? I wonder. The written word has in my lifetime been declared under threat from illustrated comics, radio, television and now the internet. Funny how these things really work. The producer of a BBC radio programme called "Word of Mouth" was surfing the net when he found the Beerhunter site. He thought that the various words meaning beer might make...

How Bert Grant Saved The World

Never before was there such a selection of beer-styles in the English-speaking world. Nor is it likely that there were ever such assertive flavors as today. The selection of beers was made possible by the pioneering work of nine or ten individuals in various countries at different times during the early 1980s, 1970s and vaguely in the 1960s. If you believed Bert Grant, it began when he was born, in 1928, in Dundee, Scotland. I imagine the midwife being greeted...

Canadian Beer History

Recognizing a plentiful supply of beer close at hand would keep money in the country instead of purchasing liquor from France and would promote the consumption of the abundance of grain found in Canada, Jean Talon established Canada's first brewery shortly after his arrival in New France, in 1668. For the next century, brewing existed as a cottage industry, albeit an important one. As early as 1786, John Molson established his first brewery in Montreal, and from that point on, names traditionally associated with the brewing industry begin to appear. Alexander Keith & Son founded their brewery in Nova Scotia...

Looking for the King of Beers...

The fathers of modern lager beer, Gabriel Sedlmayr II and Anton Dreher Sr, are gaining new recognition - not in Germany or Austria, their respective birthplaces, but in Hungary, a country where brewing is less of a tradition than wine-making. While their names are being honored, their legacy in bricks and mortar is experiencing mixed fortunes, as I have just seen for myself. Sedlmayr, the great Munich brewer of dark lagers, inspired Peter Schmidt, who brought the industry to Budapest. In 1845, Schmidt established Hungary's first commercial brewery, close to the river Danube. The river is one of the main...

Estonian, Finnish...and Orcadian

The are few feelings better than suddenly finding a drinking vessel in one's hand. Is it really necessary to wonder how the vessel arrived there? Not really, but to drink beer is to be a part of a very long-standing ritual. It is to participate in history rather than simply reading about the past. This is not dry and dusty scholarship; it is lip-smackingly wet and sensuous. In the pursuit of such studies the other day, I chanced upon a new mystery: We know that the Mesopotamians made beer, and that the art spread, possibly through Armenia and Georgia, to...

AB Utenos Gerimai

People need beer just as they need bread. Lithuanians have been brewing beer since the 9th century. Many brewers in Aukstaitija, the northeastern part of Lithuania, have kept their recipes secret for ages. No wonder the capital of Aukstaitija, Utena, became the capital of Lithuanian beer. In 1974 a big modern brewery was started in Utena and the first production of beer and soft drinks was released in 1977. We produce different brands of beer, from lager to dark, thick beer with taste of wine. Today the company produces 9 brands of beer. The most popular beers are Utenos, Porteris...

From Leeds to Lithuania for mushy pea beer

As a small boy on the way to visit my grandparents, I rode the Leeds trains and puzzled over the ads they bore: Tizer the Appetizer (what did the second word mean?); Tetley's (I had never in my life encountered a man sporting what I now know to be a monocle, let alone hunting pink); Melbourne (still, in the 1950s, brewing and promoting its beer with a frock-coated courtier, equally baffling to me). At my grandparents, there was Tizer on the table, but none of the other delights. My father said he remembered my grandmother brewing mead in the cellar....

Lithuania braces for possible beer monopoly

Carlsberg, which owns the Klaipeda-based Svyturys brewery, wants to purchase the brewing capacity of Orkla, a Nordic-owned concern. Orkla owns Baltic Beverage Holding, which owns the controlling shares in Panevezys-based Kalnapilis and Utena-based Utenos. Carlsberg, says Carlsberg spokesperson Margaret Skov, wants to buy Orkla's brewing activities and form a new company, Carlsberg Breweries A/S. (Orkla also owns Lithuania's second largest daily newspaper, Kauno Diena, which isn't on the table in this deal.) In return for its brewing activities, Orkla would receive 40 percent of the shares in Carlsberg Breweries A/S. Carlsberg would own 60 percent of the new entity, plus...

History of Beer in Lithuania

Historically, brewing in Lithuania dates back to the 11th century. As in western and central Europe, monks’ beer brewed in monasteries and alewives’ beer brewed in the cottage kitchen eventually gave way to beer produced by commercial breweries. In Lithuania today, the largest breweries are Kalnapilis, established in Panevezys in 1902; Svyturys, established in Klaipeda in 1784; Utenos Alus, established in Utena in 1977; Ragutis, established in Kaunas in 1853; Vilniaus Tauras, located in Vilnius; and Gubernija, established in Siauliai in 1786. The major breweries produce about 50 different brands of beer, both light-colored and dark with consumers preferring the...

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